Cream soup is a thickened soup containing prepared white sauce. There are a variety of soups, such as clear soup, chowders and even dessert soups and among all these, cream soups are largely popular as a base for making various dishes.
Cream soup can either be prepared with meat products or with vegetables such as tomato, mushroom and even potato. Various cuisines have different style of making this thick broth and serving techniques are also distinct. Generally, in restaurants, cream soups are available readily as compared to clear soups and other kind of soups. Even canned cream soup recipe is quite popular in North America where the soup is used as a sauce for making pasta, meat and casserole dishes.
Some popular cream soups are cream of chicken, cream of mushroom and cream of tomato.
The exact origin of cream soup is unclear and hazy, but it is believed that since ancient times, the trend of making soups is popular. It was chef Hunou in the court of Mongol emperor ‘Kublai Khan’, who first collected the soup recipes and wrote a book based on them in around 1300.
Specifically, canned cream of mushroom soup was first introduced in 1934, by the Campbell soup company in America. Canned versions of cream soup are not as old as the ancient Italian and French cream soups. Bisque is also a variety of cream soup that is prepared sea food with identical thickness.
Cream soup mainly contains a white sauce prepared with butter and flour typically known as ‘roux’. This combination is used for thickening purpose and mixed with cream or milk. Mushrooms, chicken, potato, tomato and even apple are the main components that are used separately for bringing variations in the cream soup recipe.
Cream soup are normally flavored with garlic, pepper, little sugar and vinegar. Other flavorings and herbs depend upon the recipe. Chicken cream soup contains chicken broth whereas tomatoes are pureed to make cream of tomato. Shredded chicken, boiled broccoli, chopped mushroom celery are added to the cream soups while serving. Nutmeg powder, bacon strips, spinach leaves, paprika and even crushed hard boiled eggs are garnished on top of the cream soup.
Cream of apple soup is a quite different variety that can be served cold as well.
Bisque is the variation of the cream soup that is typically prepared with fish and shellfish. Thick cream is mixed with broth to give a rich and smooth texture. Vegetable or fruit puree is also added to make various bisques or cream soup recipe. Shrimps, lobsters and crabs are typically used to make bisques.
Cream soup is generally prepared with boiling method. Simmering after mixing the ingredients plays an important role in the making of thick soups. Cream of mushroom calls for chopping of mushrooms either with knife of in food processor. Cream of tomato entails steaming and pureeing of tomatoes. In similar ways, cream of potato requires mashed potato or potato puree.
The broth is boiled with the meats, vegetables and flavorings then roux is added to thicken the broth. Liquid is simmered until it gets the actual aroma and consistency. Heavy cream or milk is added to adjust the consistency of the cream soup.
Cream soup can either be served hot or cold. Usually, soups are served as appetizer, but cream soup is a hearty dish that is suitable to be consumed as a full meal with a piece of bread or a nice salad. It can also be served with meals.
Cream soup acts as thick sauce to make various dishes such as pasta, chicken and vegetable casseroles.
• Cream of Asparagus Soup – This cream soup is prepared with the asparagus broth and other ingredients of basic soup recipe. Asparagus tips are included for garnish.
• Cream of Lima bean soup – Lima beans are used to make this healthy cream soup that is garnished with fried crumbled bacon.
• Cream of Spinach – Spinach is coarsely chopped to be used as an ingredient in the broth. Basic cream soup recipe is used to make this dish and while serving hard boiled egg yolks are crushed through a fine sieve to make a garnish for the soup.
Like other soup dishes, cream soup is also a healthy dish. Ingredients used in cream soup recipe are generally nutritious. All meats and vegetables provide a healthy punch to the soup dish. Some ingredients such as butter and cream may be full of calories that are not good for health, but low-fat ingredients can be used in that case.